A Quick Guide to Fishless Cycling
There are many opinions about how to fishless cycle your aquarium. But they normally just confuse readers and generate more questions than answers. Below is an article explaining the process and a couple of ways to fishless cycle, which we encourage everyone to read. Need more information about Fishless Cycling? You can find it in the article: DrTim’s Guide to Fishless Cycling
Here we present a short, concise recipe on how to fishless cycle your aquarium. You can choose to add DrTim’s One & Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria or not with this method. But, of course, by adding our bacteria, the cycling time will be shorter and you’ll be watching fish in your aquarium sooner.
- Day 1 – dose ammonia to 3 ppm ammonia-nitrogen [NH3-N] max. If using DrTim’s Aquatics One & Only Live Nitrifying bacteria add it now (turn skimmer, UV and ozone off and remove filter socks for 48 hours).
- Day 2 – do nothing.
- Days 3, 5, 8, 11 (every 3 days) – measure ammonia and nitrite. Do nothing on days 4, 6, 9 and 10.
- When ammonia and nitrite are both less than 0.5 ppm (NH3-N or NO2-N), add more ammonia to 3 ppm NH3-N.
- Now measure ammonia and nitrite every day.
- When ammonia and nitrite are both 0.2 ppm (NH3-N or NO2-N), add more ammonia to 3 ppm.
- Continue to measure every day – when the water is able to process ammonia and nitrite to 0 ppm within 24 hours, you’re done!
- Do a partial water change and add some fish.
Tips and Troubleshooting:
- IMPORTANT – Do not let the ammonia or nitrite concentration get above 5 ppm.
- If either ammonia or nitrite concentration get above 5 ppm, do water changes to lower the concentration.
- Do not let the pH drop below 7. If it does, do a partial water change to bring the pH back up.
- Now measure every day – when ammonia and nitrite are both 0 ppm, add more ammonia.
- Do not add ammonia removers to bind the ammonia – overdosing with these products will just increase the cycling time.
- You do not have to add ammonia everyday – the bacteria do not have to be fed every day.
Need more information about Fishless Cycling? You can find it in the article:
How to Set Up a New Aquarium – Fishless Cycling